Sorry for the lack of post yesterday. I was busy recipe testing (2 out of 3 successful), big walking (13.5km for a Sunday record), and afternoon-napping. This week my gratitude list is an International Women’s Day Special Edition to say thanks to those who inspire me to become the best woman I can.
I am blessed with so many examples of strong, independent, smart, crazy, sexy women in my life who teach me everyday about finding strength; exerting my independence; using and celebrating my mind, body and soul; being vulnerable and open to love and experience; letting my crazy out; and enjoying the full meaning of what it is to be a woman in our world. I am so fortunate to have these constant reminders, and so grateful that where I live I am free to be, love, do, say, go, whatever, wherever, and whenever I want. All around the world there are women who live in fear, without role models or hope of growing into the phenomenal women we were all meant to be. I am grateful to be a woman.
To my Mum and Dad. My first examples of how to be in the world. You taught me that there are no expectations of how a woman should have to act, think, be, behave, dress, speak in the world. You lead by example and showed your daughters that a woman is just as capable of operating a power drill as she is of baking a perfectly fluffy sponge cake; that a girl can love playing with her Barbie dolls and her Tonka trucks; and that a rainy afternoon can mean a princess film or a hard-hitting action movie. I am grateful that I grew up with parents who never tried to squeeze me into a gender-specific notion of what a daughter should be. I am grateful that I had parents who let me wear overalls and princess dresses and play chef, teacher, racing car driver, architect, forensic scientist – and always helped me to believe that any of it was possible for a woman to do.
To my sister and my amazing female friends. We have inherited the earth. We are the daughters and granddaughters of women who lived through change. No longer do we have to leave our professions when we get married. No longer do we have to fight to be allowed to control our own lives. We are the lucky ones. Yes, there is still some ground left to fight over, but there is much to be celebrated too. With our great fortune though, comes great responsibility. Responsibility to women who aren’t as fortunate as we are. Women without as much opportunity, choice, control, and freedom. I am grateful to walk with all of you down this path and find out what it means to be a woman today.
To my Chris who doesn’t see gender and who doesn’t expect other people to judge based on gender either. You are my rose-coloured glasses, my man who irons, my ‘Let It Go’ singer, and the one who argues with me (I love a good, evidence based barney) about gender issues. I am grateful that I have a partner who is strong and sweet and doesn’t see anything but people no matter what their coverings are.
To the movers, shakers, noisemakers, caretakers, the fighters, the lovers, those who stand firm and shout loud, those who whisper quietly and move deftly, to those who refuse to accept something less of their lives because of their gender. I am grateful for you. I am grateful to those who have come before and made it possible for me to sit here, with my own little internet space to speak. I am grateful for those who still fight. I am grateful for your hard work, tears, blood, sacrifice. Malala Yousefazi, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Mo’Ne Davis, Caitlin Moran, Annie Lennox, Emma Watson, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Caroline and Cristen at Stuff Mom Never Told You, and so many more who stand up as examples for all of us.
I am grateful that I could study at and graduate from whichever university I chose. I am grateful that I can pursue my career and my dreams. I am grateful that I can travel. I am grateful that I can move freely and walk down the street on my own. I am grateful that I can have control over my own body. I am grateful that I can choose what kind of woman, what kind of person, I want to be. I am grateful for the privileges and pains of my gender. I am grateful for standing here solidly knowing that I am built on a foundation of women who made sacrifices to get us where we are today, and I know that I am part of a sisterhood that must reach out and give a hand up to those in need. We are all Phenomenal Women.
I am grateful to be a woman.